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Lady in Flames

9:46 am in Uncategorized by Daveparts

Lady in Flames
By David Glenn Cox

Sometimes we really have to stop and ask ourselves who we are, divided by class, by race and by gender; subdivided as we are, into straight, gay, leftist, rightist, or even urban or rural demographics. This muffled ragged claim of rugged individuality ties to that Americanism which we see darkly as a noble trait. Only, it is a trait which can untie us from the dock of common humanity and allow us to drift aimlessly and as long as we personally miss the rocks, it’s good enough.

We can get all excited and all worked up by world events or by local media drama. We seek viral videos, titillations, news candy, dark chocolate news, news which appeals to our sweet tooth. But what of true horror, fine for the movies, you say? What about out and out depravity? It seems like it was only a couple of years ago an NFL quarterback went to prison for killing dogs. Killing dogs is a horrible crime and shouldn’t be under appraised, however, during the same time period, our government was responsible for killing innocent civilians and children and no one went to jail.

How strange it is that our society can erupt with volcanic outrage at one crime while ignoring another more outrageous crime. Fox News and many of the mainstream media outlets are obsessed with dead-white-girl syndrome. Any young white woman who disappears or is murdered, is always great news copy. A young woman of any other ethnicity, lost or murdered is, well… not so much. That is the power of media, the gatekeepers of real news, and the directors of the public’s consciousness, ringing the dinner bell for us as Pavlov’s public.

I came across this news story and was struck by the casualness of its tone. Violet Ellen Phillips was 67 years old and she’s homeless. She lived a quiet life on the streets of Van Nuys California. Remembered by Wade Trimmer of the San Fernando Rescue Mission, “She said little about her personal life, but was always grateful,” he said. “She always said ‘thank you’ and ‘God bless you for doing this.’”

We have a picture of a nice, quiet little old lady, living on the very margins of our society, existing on very little. It kind of makes you wonder why someone would douse this little old lady, who wasn’t bothering anybody, with rubbing alcohol and set her on fire as she slept at a bus stop. It is a horrific crime, shocking to anyone with even a modicum of humanity. How can these outrages happen again and again, and yet, nothing is done. Unless you were in Los Angeles, you probably didn’t even hear about the crime. An Indian woman raped in Singapore is news around the world, but a 67 year old woman dosing at a bus stop and being set on fire is only a local affair.

http://www.leftistreview.com/2013/01/31/lady-in-flames/davidcox/

Hobo’s Lullaby

9:22 am in Uncategorized by Daveparts

Hobo’s Lullaby
By David Glenn Cox

.

“Go to sleep you weary hobo
Let the towns drift slowly by
Can’t you hear the steel rails hummin’
That’s the hobo’s lullaby”

The red sled has been put away; the wrapping paper has gone into the trash along with the experts and their post -Thanksgiving forecasts of vibrant Christmas sales. Warm candle lit predictions of three to four percent in sales increases have been extinguished by the cold wind of a mere 0.7% sales increase. Now, factor in three percent annual inflation and you have the worst Christmas sales since, well, last year. Actually, it has been the worst Christmas sales season since 2008, when the New Great Depression first began.

The wizards and chambermaids of prognostication have already stripped the bedding and the bed clothes to autopsy the fetid corpse of Christmas past on. Well, the reason is obvious, isn’t it? Come on; think about it, what could be the cause of such sluggish sales? Why, what else, the prognosticators tell us it was Hurricane Sandy and the budget negotiations in Washington. Shoppers in Alabama, Michigan and Montana must have said to themselves, “Well, little Jimmy wants an official NFL football and little Cindy Lou wants a new bike. But you know what? I ain’t a gonna do it, no sir, not until them lazy good for nothing politicians do something in them budget negotiations.”

Or maybe, collectively, the American public has decided that out of respect for a global climate change inspired hurricanes, they should forgo annual gift giving ritual. Of course, I’m being absurd but if; if only, I could become even more absurd, if I could perfect the craft of cultural absurdity, then maybe, I could possibly write for the main stream media. The actual reason for the slow seasonal sales is a clear as spinach between the front teeth of a runway model. It isn’t just that they lie about Christmas sales to affect a bandwagon approach, hoping the mobs of the great unwashed will go out and shop unreservedly, before all the good stuff is gone which they do. It is that, after lie is piled upon lie for so long, the absurdities either make sense or they’re simply not plausible and you sometimes get the feeling they aren’t even trying that hard anymore.

Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that jobs and wage losses from Hurricane Sandy were negligible and therefore would not be included in job or wage loss statistics. See, if the building you worked in was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, your job loss doesn’t count. It can, however, be included as a legitimate reason for slow Christmas sales. So as the hurricane victims sat in the darkened wreckage of their homes they thought to themselves, “I’d go Christmas shopping but for those bastards in Washington.”

The truth just ain’t in them, Harry Truman once said about Richard Nixon; “Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he’d lie just to keep his hand in.”

Absolutely and in totality, we are buried in the massive corporate defecation’s, recommendations, free associations, declarations, coupons, group ons, code words, buzz word bullshit. So what could be the real reason for lackluster (war on Xmas) holiday sales, could it be the demise of the traditional family? Or maybe we just don’t love our families that much, the way we once did. But you already know the truth, don’t you? You’re probably saying to yourself right now, get to it man! We all know the economy sucks!”

If today’s unemployment statistics were complied by the same formula which was used in the last Great Depression, our current unemployment rate would be at 22% the same unemployment rate as in the worst year of the last Great Depression.

NBC News.com – New Home sales jump to two-year high

“New single-family home sales surged in September to the highest level in nearly 2-1/2 years, further evidence the housing market recovery is gaining steam.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that new home sales increased 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted 389,000-unit annual rate — the fastest pace since April 2010, when sales were boosted by a tax credit for first-time homebuyers.”

The story is factually the truth, but actually a lie. A new home sale number of 389,000 is one of the worst in fifty years, but remember; the last time they sold those low numbers was in 1967 when there were only two hundred million Americans. This story is repeated ad nausea all over the media as are all stories of positive economic numbers.

Auto Sales Are Highest in 4 Years

New York Times, DETROIT — “Unemployment is still high and the so-called fiscal cliff is looming, but those worries didn’t slow down the nation’s car and truck buyers in September.

Autos flew off the lot at the highest sales rate in four years, adjusted for seasonal variations, according to the research firm Autodata.”

Highest sales rate in four years, otherwise known as the year the New Great Depression began. Rosy forecasts of 14.9 million new cars, Hazzah! Except, that annually, the US crushes 14 million cars, factor in the past three years with sales of 10 million new cars or 12 million new cars sold and you see a society less mobile. The shortage in the sales of new cars also drives up the price of used cars.

But because they lie about everything they sometimes find themselves tied up in their own ribbons. Why was General Patraeus fired again? It was because he had an affair, right? For myself, I doubted that. It’s almost traditional for generals to have a mistress, hell, Eisenhower had one and he didn’t get fired. I thought to myself, it sure was mighty lucky for President Obama that a story like that didn’t break before the election, convenient huh? Then I read the Bob Woodward story about Rupert Murdoch sending Roger Ailes to Afghanistan trying to encourage the good General to run for the Presidency in a Fox News funded and stage managed campaign. The reasons for the Patraeus firing become obvious, with only the details still shrouded in mystery.

The truth is cold dead, stone dead, it is a condition which cannot be altered, but still they try. Poor people don’t buy much for Christmas, some cannot even afford the day off from their pay. This is the ugly baby in the manger which none come to see, what millions of American families got for Christmas this year was poverty, same as last year.

You cannot “good news” the poor into thinking they aren’t poor. No amount of talk radio can ever argue with the daily fear and precariousness with which they daily live their lives. The sad truth is the government / media are one and the same, they can no longer hide the truth and so they must bury it. Burying ain’t a craft skill, it is a volume business and so, they’re working overtime with extra flights of misdirection.

“Now don’t you worry ’bout tomorrow
Let tomorrow come and go
Tonight you’re in a nice warm boxcar
Safe from all that wind and snow

I know the police cause you trouble
They cause trouble everywhere
But when you die and go to Heaven
You’ll find no policemen there

So go to sleep you weary hobo
Let the towns drift slowly by
Listen to the steel rails hummin’
That’s a hobo’s lullaby”
~ Goebel Reeves

The Polish Daily News

1:10 pm in Uncategorized by Daveparts

The Polish Daily News
By David Glenn Cox

God has been throwing acorns at the house lately, too much time on his hands, I suppose. He can’t kill African babies all the time and he sure hasn’t been helping Willard (Mitt) Romney any. The acorns come down hard on the roof like rocks or like Mitt’s falling poll numbers whichever you prefer. I think I like Cleveland, its comfortable like an old pair of shoes. They have this lake front, where regular people can live. In Chicago, they would be million dollar properties, here they are just apartments. To me of course a Great Lake is a Great Lake, I’m not about to get snobbish about it, especially as a new comer.

I went to see the Christmas Story house and while we were in the neighborhood we visited Saint Theodosius Cathedral. Poor little Ralphie, his neighborhood falling into disrepair. When we arrived we saw the obligatory leg lamp in Ralphie’s front window and an excavator climbing up the rubble pile of a demolished house next door. Your eyes quickly adjust to this carnage and boarded up houses of what must have been at one time an urban paradise. As we cruised the neighborhoods we saw an old brick building with a concrete mantle which proudly proclaimed, “The Polish Daily News -1922”

It was a time when America held promise, when Ukrainian immigrants could pool their collective resources and build not just a church but a cathedral. They were staking their claim as Americans, they were Ukrainians but now, they were also Americans. They fought for their labor rights and survived the last Great Depression and in their prosperity they were assimilated into the American maelstrom.

The neighborhoods of Cleveland remind me of the neighborhoods of Atlanta, only older. Boarded up windows and doors spare no architecture, be it period housing versus boarded up bungalow ranch style with its vinyl siding and faux brick. Decay is decay, but there is more, this plague cannot be isolated to architecture alone. It permeates our society as a whole, when I was in Portland; I was walking to the coffee shop one morning about 9:30 and all around me were groups of men in twos and three’s who should have been at work.

I was filled with stories of cars which no longer run and of owner’s with no money to fix them. My uncle used to buy a new car every two years. He was a foreman in a factory, I knew lots of people who bought new cars, these were happy times and prosperous memories. Days when people had “good jobs,” remember, “Oh, Mary’s got a “good job” but what is a “good job” today? Just down the street from here is a pretty little three bedroom, two bath period home probably built sometime in the 1920’s. It’s big and roomy, warm and cozy with period trimmings of wide oak moldings, large windows and a big old fashioned front porch surrounded by a heavy railing.

I’m told that this house could be had for $8,000 American and that there are in Cleveland, hundreds of these houses. The simple reason they’re selling so cheaply is because there are no jobs and no credit for what I call the poor, and the politicians call the middle class. The middle class is an imaginary group of American’s like Bill Cosby’s Huxtables who live mainly on TV and on Madison Avenue. But, if these houses are bad assets driving down the banks ability to be profitable and if we have millions of unemployed and millions of homeless including half a million who are children aged 0-5. Then let’s take these houses off of the banks hands. Then let’s hire these unemployed to do the repairs necessary to make the homes livable.

Then let’s sell the house for a reasonable price, say $16,000. We help the bank, we help the poor, we create jobs, just another big govement program, which helps everyone, instead of just the banks. When FDR tried to help people to keep their homes in 1933 with the Home Owners Loan Corporation, the home price slide ended within a year and who did that help the most but the banks. We are entering our fifth year of home price declines, culling the fringe, but now the plague is infecting the whole. If the free market can correct itself, how much longer is this going to take?

We could do a lot of things, God’s not throwing acorns at us, this plague is man made, but Damn it Mitt, you’re not supposed to lose this bad. Not since Montgomery Burns was forced to take a bite from Blinky, the three eyed fish has there been a politician been so publicly debased. Paul Ryan the ambitious man, faced off against a hostile Louisiana crowd, and as Ryan spoke, the crowd murmured aggressively. As Ryan explained that he and Mitt Romney wanted to fix the economy by doing away with Obama care, the crowd loudly booed and cat called.

It was a surreal moment and had it been in black and white would have resembled that scene from “The Bride of Frankenstein” where the monster puts his hands up defensively yelling, “Fire Bad!” from the balcony of the old wind mill. That moment when the flaming torch salesman sells out his stock and the networks begin offering gaff to gaff coverage. Still, I admired Ryan’s courage, Louisiana crowds can be tough even when you’re just playing football against them but when you start talking about taking mamere’s Social Security they will call you, bebette mal pris.

But now with Willard imploding, Obama with no real record to run on and the worst economy in seventy years will coast into office with an alleged mandate of public approval. This too is a part of the plague, this too affects our national mindset, just when the public asks, “Could there ever be a worse candidate than Sarah Palin?” the Republican’s choose two, count em, two Sarah Palin’s.

Did you know that the F-22 fighter program is going to cost us over 66 Billion dollars? Do you know how many homes we could purchase and rehab for 66 billion dollars? How many people we could put to work and in a home? Suddenly we wake on the bus and realize in terror we’ve missed our stop. The President elect will dredge up the corpse of the Simpson – Bowles commission and begin to build a new monster from its parts. The Commission’s report was aptly named, The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Whenever politicians start talking about Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, you have a pretty good idea where they plan on getting the heart and the ass for this new monster.

There are moments when there is no turning back, when your fate has been decided, one is when they push the bar down into your lap on a roller coaster another is when political campaigns no longer have any relationship to what is going on in the general public. Willard promises [Generic Right Wing Political Message Here] while Obama offers us Forward! How many people will work in this forward? What kind of wages can I expect in forward? Can I join Local 12 of the forwarders union? Can I eat forward? Will forward keep me warm this winter?

Where is the vision thing and now that Willard has so screwed the pooch, the Democrats might gain control of the Congress and be forced to actually do something, but what will they do? Personally, I see the kites being launched from the castle, I see a thunderstorm brewing and lights on late in the laboratory windows at night.

What Is The Meaning Of Labor Day?

12:40 pm in Uncategorized by Daveparts

What Is The Meaning Of Labor Day?
August 31, 2012 By David Glenn Cox

The Ludlow Massacre Memorial, April 20th, 1914, Colorado Coal Miners on Strike

(Photo: Beverly & Pack/flickr)

A Historical Reconstruction

It’s cold most mornings in the Rocky Mountains, especially when you are living in a canvas tent with nothing but a cast iron stove for heat. I reckon a fella sort of gets used to those sorts of things, but it’s most a hardship on the wives and the youngins. It all began in September of 1913. Many of us colliers had had enough of Mr. John D. Rockefeller and his C.F & I coal company. The death rate in them mines was seven per thousand, we lived in company housing and had to shop in company stores, cause we was paid in script stead of real money. Weren’t no one to check the weights on the coal we was hauling cept for company men.

We’d had enough. Why in 1913 alone, 110 men got killed in Colorado mines and they left behind 51 widows and 108 orphans. Being paid on the tonnage system made some of the boys reckless with their lives, cause they was desperate for money, cause they had hungry children, but sometimes their recklessness got others hurt as well, I reckon.

We began to listen to the union men, who was telling us how the death rate in union mines was about forty percent lower. They was telling us how the company was breaking the law by not paying us in real money. The boys and me, we didn’t know nothing about such things; most of us couldn’t even read. Even so, we reckoned we had a right to be paid for “dead work.” I mean, if in you ask a man to cut down trees and clear right of way and lay down railroad track he got a right to be paid for it, don’t he?

The company over the years had tried to make things some better for us, with some better housing and a doctor every once and a while. We was uneducated, but we weren’t stupid, they was trying to buy us off, and that don’t feed no widows, nor orphans. So we was stuck, we didn’t have no place to turn. There weren’t no government to speak of, and the law, if you could call em that. Well, they was all company men, they weren’t no copper button blue coat policemen but toughs, just roust abouts with guns, so we was stuck.

The boys decided to throw in with the United Mine Workers of America and it weren’t long before the company hired the Baldwin–Phelps Detective Agency. They was from back East, but we knew who they was, they was strike breakers and when they arrived they begun putting the strikers out of their houses. It was snowing like hell that morning, but they didn’t care nothing bout that. They had writs, don’t even know if they was legal or even what they said, but them detectives they began emptying out our houses stacking our belongings into the street, snowstorm or no snowstorm. The union had leased some land off of the company’s property and we began moving our stuff there. It was located in a small canyon where we could keep an eye on the mine. We was all in it now, but we’d made our demands and we would stick by them.

Recognition of the union as bargaining agent:

An increase in tonnage rates (equivalent to a 10% wage increase)
Enforcement of the eight-hour work day law.
Payment for “dead work” (laying track, timbering, handling impurities, etc.)
Weight-check men elected by the workers (to keep company men honest)
The right to use any store, and choose their boarding houses and doctors.

Strict enforcement of Colorado’s laws (such as mine safety rules, abolition of scrip), and an end to the company guard system.

Course the company rejected our demands out of hand and as soon as the strike began, the company began hiring scabs. Fore long, them detective boys set up searchlights and was shining them down into our camp all night just to make us mad trying to disturb our sleep. That weren’t so bad, but every now and again they’d fire a stray rifle shot into the camp. So the boys began to dig pits under their tents where they could put their women folk and the youngins to protect them from the flying lead. Well, it didn’t take long for them harassment tactics begun to take affect. Some of the boys, well, they was ready for an out and out shooting war, but we talked’em down from it. But just you let us catch a scab by his lonesome, and then, you just wait and see what would happen.

Them union men they had their hands full trying keeping the boys calm. They splained it, we had to follow the law and not let the company goad us into a fight, cause the big city papers back East would paint us as a violent mob disrupting an honest business. Didn’t make no sense to me, but I reckon it was so. They was shooting into our tents where there was women and kids, and didn’t care none, all they cared about was their money and their coal. Them detective boys built themselves an armored car out of a big old sedan car and mounted a machine gun on top of it. It was getting just plain awful when Governor Ammons sent in the National Guard at the end of October, trying to calm things down. At first, it helped a might, but then the Guard just became more cops rousting the strikers and backslapping the company men. It weren’t no surprise really, we’d already been warned bout the general in charge of the Guard.

They said, ole John Chase had been a real hard ass in the Cripple Creek strike ten year ago, but what he done to us was down right criminal. He weren’t no Christian nor honest man. The searchlights and shootings continued in the camp and then on March 10th 1914 the dead body of a scab was found on the railroad tracks near Forbes Colorado.

Well sir, General Chase, he ordered our camp destroyed, he didn’t hold no hearing nor investigation, he just went ahead and ordered the only lodgings for poor and hungry men women and children destroyed, cause one man had died someplace on company property. On April 10th the day after Easter, the National Guard appeared on the rim of the canyon. A lot of the Greeks was attending a funeral for a baby what had died the day before. Then Guardsmen appeared at the camp entrance, claiming we was a holding some fella against his will, but there weren’t no truth to it. Our leader, Louis Tikas asked for a meeting at the Ludlow train depot, less than a mile away with the head of the militia.

Original Post

Really Polite Fascists

6:08 pm in Uncategorized by Daveparts

Really Polite Fascists
By David Glenn Cox

I had an appointment this morning at the Northwest Pilot Program in Downtown Portland. Since this was my first visit and I was technically a “walk in,” I was advised to be at least an hour early for the 9:00 AM opening. Well, as I’ve explained before, I’m a little anal about being on time for appointments and I knew well, that when you ask for help in America, you had better bring your lunch.

I’d planned to take the seven o’clock bus to arrive ninety minutes early, but I left the house early enough to catch the six thirty bus. A quick walk from the bus stop and at ten to seven, I arrived to find myself fourth in line. At first, all was quiet in the line. Soon however, the ice was broken and we all became fast friends. Michael was first in line as he played his digital card game and when I asked, what time he had arrived to be first in line, he answered without looking away, “5:30.”

Johnny was second in line, he was younger than Michael and had hearing aids in each ear and was a bit more talkative. He commented, on a pretty young girl across the street, “How old do you this she is?”

“Old enough to ruin your life,” I answered. Our line was quickly filling now, I was number four, two hours early. Five, six and seven showed up right behind me. The staff’s warning of only serving the first four in the morning session rang in my ears and made me grateful I had caught that early bus. Several walked away, unwilling to wait, seeking that Domino’s America, thirty minutes or its free. Some in line had canes, some had walkers and none were too well dressed and all were seeking housing.

My primary goal in coming was to seek assistance in resolving my ID problem. It was after eight, when an older woman approached us from the sidewalk announcing, “The door unlocks automatically at eight o’clock.” I thought, ain’t technology grand? It unlocks a door automatically, without ever communicating that somewhat important fact to anyone at all. For some reason, the hour wait inside seemed so much longer than an hour wait outside, but it ended with them offering to help me. First, I would have to make a trip to the Social Security office.

Released into the streets of Portland with a lightly printed map I would make the overland trip to Social Security on foot. Portland is the city of Roses; people like me, Easterners mainly, think its Pasadena, but nope, it’s Portland. I try to write about these places where I’m immersed and I have held off writing much about Portland because Portland is weird. At least that’s what the bumper stickers on the back of every third car say anyway. I think, weird is kind of an over generalization. Portland is unique, funky and Bohemian. It is a low city; it has its share of high rise, sterile steel and glass skyscrapers, if you like those sorts of things. But mainly, it is a brick and mortar town.

Tree lined city streets are filled with a varied assortment of generations of funky architecture. There are so many coffee shops in Portland; I think you could probably run from one to the next while holding your breath, without ever turning blue. Me, I’m a coffee slug; I happily drank Folgers or Maxwell House for years never knowing the difference. But to do so in Portland is like going to the wine country of France and ordering “Ripple.”

Nestled along the banks of the Columbia River, it is a city of bridges, industry and quiet neighborhoods. Compared to homicidal traffic of Atlanta, her traffic her almost genial, but because of the hills and the rivers and time, you can suddenly find yourself at a geometric convergence of half a dozen roads which could confuse even Stephan Hawking. Always off in the distance is the ghostly image of Mt. Hood, a sleeping and hopefully, dormant volcano. Though the temperature has been in the eighties and nineties for several months now, on top of snow white Mt. Hood this morning it was seventeen degrees. I visited this mountain back in May and as we pulled into the parking lot of the ski lodge we were surrounded by snow banks towering fifteen feet above us. Snow banks not piled high or shoveled high, but snow fallen high, still hanging around in May!

I am closer to Alaska and Hawaii here than I am to my native South; The Pacific Ocean is a scant forty five minutes away. Currents carry air and water in from the North Pacific and it means, the Ocean is truly beautiful and truly cold. On a ninety degree day when you approach the ocean, from three feet away, it as if you have just opened the door to a refrigerator cooler. Yet, if you drive east from Portland, suddenly as you crest the top of a hill the trees and greenery disappear, replaced by an amazing high desert panorama and just for good measure, this high desert like the one in the cowboy pictures has a beautiful river running through it. The Columbia River Gorge to the North is a one of a kind splendor and it is as if Portland is a city surrounded by theme parks. Pick a direction, pick a climate and pick a landscape.

The big financial institutions seem to be the only chain stores; there is a noticeable and pleasant absence of fast food chains. In central Portland, there are colorful Jitney’s, small trailers selling all manner of ethnic foods and in two of the cities parks, what else, but coffee shops. I navigated my way towards the Social Security office crossing a bridge across the 405 and I couldn’t help but to take note of the decorative high iron bars and steel lattice installed at public expense to keep our people from killing themselves by diving off of the bridge into traffic. Why do you suppose that is, I mean, government is not so proactive as to install such a thing unless absolutely necessary and decorative no less.

Arriving at the Social Security office, I was greeted by a rent a cop and a metal detector, well, two rent a cops actually. An extra was present, just in case the other needed back up in this scary, scary Social Security office. The first cop was genial enough, as he searched my shoulder bag and he reminded me a lot of my cousin Tommy. Of course, Tommy was taller and didn’t slouch as much, Tommy was also bigger across the chest and better looking, but their hair cuts were strikingly similar. As the cop searched my bag pulling out each of the six CD cases I was carrying. I asked, “If you don’t mind my asking, what are you looking for?”

In a no nonsense manner he explained, “Weapons.”

Thinking about that for a minute, I asked again, “You mean like razor blades?”

I want to get this right; he wasn’t obnoxious, only noxious. In an overtly Fascist police state, he hadn’t lost his sense of polite decorum. Even if he did miss two compartments in my bag including the one containing my camera he remained very polite. Due to his polite negligence, if I had decided to, I could have gotten the photographic drop on the both of them. I could have illegally snapped photographs and the cops could have only responded with pepper spray, night sticks or by shooting me dead with their service revolvers.

But again, I want to emphasize, he was very polite as he said, “Thank you very much sir, take a number from the machine over there.” I had come to obtain information from my government, but first I had to deal with armed men threatening deadly force searching my valuables. I took a ticket from the computerized machine, I was number B522 and the next number called was 53, then 54, then 55. So I went back over to the two ersatz Gestapo fascists keeping me safe from Democracy and asked, “Is this right? Am I really 467 numbers away?”

He explained the machine cycled the numbers and I guess he was satisfied having done his hardest work for the day. A few moments later, my number was called and I quickly received the information I needed to obtain a print out of my social security number, so that I could take that to the state government which would allow the state to grant me a photo ID, so that I could then return to Social Security to replace my card lost in a tragic washing machine accident in back in 1972.

But by now, it was lunch time and I’d had a busy day and yes, I really did pack my lunch and I shared it with a pigeon in Teacher’s park. The children were playing in the fountain when this gray fellow with a black head and just a spot of green ambled up to me. He looked up at me, right in the eye as if to say, “What’s up bud?” Let me be clear, he didn’t beg, but asked politely, “what you got there?” I threw him some crust and he seemed to approve, so I threw him a Cheese it.“ He pecked at a corner of it, but then politely declined, so I threw him some more crust and he gratefully munched it down before nodding to me as if to say “thanks”, before ambling on.

After lunch, I faced a moral dilemma. Should I walk another mile or two down to get a TB test as required by the homeless shelters or call it a day? I was a little tired but thought I would give her a go. It was a beautiful day, just a scoush over 72 degrees, with the sun shining. The streets and parks are filled with art of all descriptions honoring pioneers, sailors and the nondescript, but as I walked, I was overcome by the numbers of truly desperate homeless people in the streets. More homeless people per city block than I could ever have imagined.

They were literally competing for intersections, from the hard up to hard bitten. From young to old, from prey to predator. Some held signs while others stared blankly, aimlessly into the sky, just killing time. They all remained perfectly silent, perhaps they no longer had anything left to say or maybe that’s the rule, you can beg, but you cannot make noise. It is a beautiful city in a garden spot of the world, but there is also a yin to this yang. Fading light and long shadows, art appreciation amongst the ruins with food festivals amongst the hungry, in the city of Roses.

Stagnation

9:23 am in Uncategorized by Daveparts

Stagnation
By David Glenn Cox

Statement of

John M. Galvin
Acting Commissioner
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Friday, July 6, 2012

“ Nonfarm payroll employment continued to edge up in June
(+80,000), and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2
percent. Employment growth averaged 75,000 per month in the
second quarter of the year, compared with an average monthly
increase of 226,000 in the first quarter. Slower job growth in
the second quarter occurred in most major industries.

Employment in professional and business services grew by
47,000 in June. Since the most recent low in September 2009,
employment in the industry has risen by 1.5 million. Much of the
growth occurred in temporary help services, which added 25,000
jobs over the month and 776,000 jobs since September 2009.”

Civilian Labor force – May 2012, 155,007,000 – June 2012, 155,163,000

Unemployed- May 2012, 12,720,000 – June 2012, 12,749,000

Not in the Labor force- May 2011, 86,080,000 – June 2012, 87,992,000

Job losers who completed temporary jobs – May 2012, 6,989,000 – June 2012, 7,207,000

Reentrants into the economy – May 2012, 3,439,000 – June 2012, 3,227,000

New entrants – May 2012, 1,367,000 – June 2012, 1,331,000

Terrible job numbers pour out over a holiday weekend news dump. 108,000 new workers joined the workforce, which by the governments own admission only added 80,000 jobs this month. That by itself would be pretty Goddamned awful but is instead the sunny side of the street. More than a quarter of those 80,000 jobs are temporary jobs. They are jobs without any benefits or healthcare, without retirement or future.

Floor malting/warehouse

Floor malting/Warehouse position. . .

Rxxx Ales is looking for a few people willing to work slightly odd hours to do a relatively physical job. So must be able-bodied. The hours will be. . .

5am-8am and/or 5pm to 11pm Monday-Friday,
Plus 5am-11pm Sat-Sun.

Hours will be split between 3 people. Should work out to around 25 hr/week. $9/hr. Contract position.

For the best, this job might morph into a full time warehouse position later in the summer.

Interviews will be Tuesday July 3rd from 10:00am-1pm.

Just come by and ask for Brandon.

U-3 Total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (official unemployment rate) June 2011, 9.1 % – June 2012, 8.2%

U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force. February 2012, 14.9 % – June 2012, 14.9%

Pretty Goddamned awful especially considering the even more accurate U-6 figure still does not include the more than two million no longer counted as in the labor force. One of these two millions includes a man I met in Minneapolis, Johnny lived in a homeless shelter, he was a Vietnam vet and he worked outside everyday in the Minnesota winter. He spent his January days searching for scrap metal which he hauled in a shopping cart. He was neither on drugs, a drunk or crazy. His mind was sharp as a tack, sharper than most as he said, “I’m 62 years old, they aren’t going to fuck me out of what I’ve got coming. I’m not going to file for my social security until I’m 65 even if it means I have to push that shopping cart for ten years.”

Yet that is the case as millions are forced by poverty to give up their full Social Security benefits. These are not just numerals or empty digits but real flesh and blood people and these numbers describe a hellish existence. They expose how they live and how they die.

Fly Fishing Plumber Wanted

Mxxxx Fxxx Fly Fishing Club looking to get our water system from the river to our bunkhouse working. We supply materials and access to our property for you to fish. You supply your pump and plumbing knowledge and labor to get the system up and running.

If interested Call Rick @

• Compensation: Trade for Club Membership Only

Connecticut mother-daughter die in murder-suicide

Connecticut Post STAMFORD — A middle-aged woman killed her elderly mother with a double-barreled shotgun and then killed herself inside their foreclosed Long Ridge Road home, Stamford police said.

Officers found their bodies just after 1 p.m. Friday while checking on the mother and daughter who lived at 1214 Long Ridge Road following reports from concerned neighbors, according to Stamford police Capt. Richard Conklin. The neighbors told police they hadn’t seen the mother and daughter recently and were worried for their well-being.

Three Dead in New Years Day Foreclosure Murder Suicide

CUCollecter.com; After World Savings Bank denied a man’s loan modification request, the gravity of his financial woes was too much to handle. Three bodies found at the scene of a foreclosure suicide and murder in Santee, California.

On New Year’s day San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies responded to 8567 Clifford Heights Road in Santee, after receiving a call to 911 from a man who gave his name and address and stated that “he was going to kill his cancer stricken wife, burn his house down and shoot anyone who approached the residence and then kill himself,” According to the caller, World Savings Bank had refused to renegotiate his loan and filed for foreclosure on Dec 6th.

The 60-year-old man told his neighbors that he and his wife had lost their jobs and home to foreclosure and that his wife had cancer. Police are now trying to discover the identity of an extra burned body.”

Wanted people in all phase’s of remodeling

Gutting homes, sheet rock repair, roofing, installing tubs sink’s and hardwood flooring, Lawn Mowing house’s every 10 days
Ele and plumber Lic as well.
Leave a Number and what you are good at.

• Compensation: Bid’s for labor

Blueberry Pickers Needed

We are a small, organic family farm looking for help hand picking blueberries.
We pay .50 cents per pound picked. Start time is 7:30am, we will pick until noon.This gig is best for those who live close in to the Mcxxxxx area, it may not be worth your time if you have more than a 15/20 minute drive to our farm. Children must be 16 years or older to pick. Families, silblings, and friends welcome.Your may call xxx-xxxx for details and directions
Or please come to our farm at 7 am tomorrow morning, Friday July 6th.

Thank you

PART TIME CLEANING PERSON FOR TRADE

Busy medical office in Lake XXXXX is looking for someone to clean two times per week to trade for spa services. Flexible days and times, but this would normally be done during regular business hours. As far as services, we do laser hair removal, chemical peels, Zerona laser, skin tightening, lip plumping.

Please send resume if interested.

Mow Small Lawn $10

Need someone to mow my grass for $10 each time, twice a month. I have a real small front lawn (approx 7′ x 9′) and back lawn (approx 16′ x 20′). You supply the mower and gas.

• Compensation: $10 each time

helper/ partner..used retail

I own a buy sell shop / repair shop……looking for a helper / possible business partner…..strong sales and computer knowledge a must…..must be friendly and understand used retail……willing to train, however i need someone independent and dependable. female preferred……Fun, interesting and not your average job….fairly new business and the pay is based on percentage of sales and repair…..so if you need a job to support your family there is no guarantee of base pay at this time, however there is a ton of opportunity here and possible great pay……..sound like fun ?

• Compensation: no pay

Looking For Sign Holder

North XXXX Coffeehouse is looking for an energetic, fun student type who would be interested in trade in coffee and food for sign holding. May turn into a paid gig for the right person. Also very negotiable.

Thanks,

North XXXX Coffeehouse

• Compensation: Trade and possible pay

This is no less than a criminal economic holocaust, millions out of work with millions more struggling just to get by, scratching and clawing, not to improve their lot but just to hang on, and I guess some make it and some don’t as the future promises only more of the same.

“Agitation is the order of nature. Nature abhors quiet as it does a vacuum. Someone may abject and point to the “everlasting hills” in proof of their theory, forgetful of the fact that the hills are a product of agitation. The sea is never still. The tides forever ebb and flow. The “dead calm” presages the storm. Air in motion is the demand.

The peacefully disposed, the quiet, inert, lethargic souls, those who glory in stagnation, have never had their way. Nature prefers agitation, hence the hurricane, the tornado, the cyclone, the lightening and the thunderbolt; hence the volcano and the earthquake. Call them evils, it matters not, they are ceaseless protest against stagnation.

“Men cry “peace,” but there is no peace. The elemental war goes on. Indeed, those who clamor for peace are agitators.” – Eugene V. Debs

The Columbus Dispatch- The body of an unidentified man was pulled from the Olentangy River about 9:30 this morning (Friday).

Anne Pennington, a Columbus homicide detective, said the man was white and in his 40s.

The body was fully clothed and probably had been in the water for at least a day, she said. The Franklin County coroner’s office will do an autopsy.

Police were called at 9:12 a.m. The body was caught in debris under the King Avenue bridge, southwest of the Ohio State University campus.

Sun –Times LINCOLNWOOD — A person found a dead body Thursday in the North Branch of the Chicago River in Lincolnwood. A caller reported the body at the North Branch of the Chicago River near the 6800 block of North Kedzie Avenue to Lincolnwood police about 12:30 p.m. and the Illinois State Police crime lab and the Department of Natural Resources responded, said State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond.

The unidentified man, believed to be in his 50s, was dead on the scene, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, which will perform an autopsy Friday.

KOIN PORTLAND, Ore. – “Officials still have not identified a body of a man found floating in the Willamette River Tuesday morning. Just after 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office River Patrol responded to a call from a nearby fisherman of a possible body floating in the Willamette River, about a half-mile from the St. Johns Bridge. Deputies arrived on scene around 10:20 a.m. and recovered a body of a man. He is described as a white male, between 45 and 60 year old.”

Strange that over a family holiday weekend three unidentified middle aged white men suddenly forget they know how to swim. Three in four days, three men who died alone with no one looking for them, lost in America, no longer in the labor force or a life force.

“I’m gonna find me a river, one that’s cold as ice.
And when I find me that river, lord I’m gonna pay the price,
I’m goin down in it three times, but lord I’m only comin up twice.
She’s long gone, and now I’m lonesome blue.” – Hank Williams

We Poke Along

1:55 pm in Uncategorized by Daveparts

In May of 1935, Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 7034 establishing the Works Projects Administration. The WPA replaced the Federal Emergency Relief Agency. You see, they didn’t have any cut-and-dried answers, they were in new territory and kept trying things until they got it right. The WPA only existed for eight years, but over the course of its life it employed a total of 8,500,000 people.

A WPA plaque from 1936

Photo: Brian Wright / Flickr

Republicans called it a bastion for waste and pork barrel projects, lampooning the acronym of WPA as “We Poke Along.” Their answer was to let the market work. Those eight and a half million people didn’t need jobs; all they really needed was self-reliance and faith that tomorrow would be a better day.

At its height, the WPA employed 3,400,000 workers who worked a maximum of 30 hours per week. The goal was to put enough money in the workers’ pockets to keep a roof over their heads and feed themselves. Thirty hours made room for more workers and also time for those employed workers to look for private employment. No more than one person per family were allowed to participate in the WPA.

In those eight years the WPA built over 651,000 miles of streets, roads and highways. They built or repaired 124,031 bridges; they built, modernized or repaired 125,031 public buildings. They built 851 airport landing fields and 8,192 public parks and playgrounds. The Federal Writer’s Project created pamphlets and guidebooks and organized state archives. The Federal Arts Project employed artists to create murals, sculptures and canvases to decorate schools and public buildings.

In the cities the WPA organized summer day camps to keep children occupied and to give them a hopeful diversion complete with a hot meal served at lunch. Symphony orchestras and traveling stock companies toured the country to bring music and theater to the masses who had little in the way of diversions. We Poke Along indeed.

Night school classes taught welding, radio repair, auto mechanics, aviation mechanics, construction techniques and management techniques. Music & art lessons were available. Training in tailoring and as nurse’s aides was available, unless you were attending one of the dances sponsored by the WPA. The WPA was about more than just reviving the economy, it was about reviving a people’s spirits, as well.

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A War Upon Us

5:09 pm in Uncategorized by Daveparts

By David Glenn Cox

Abandoned home. Photo by Jay Santiago.

I heard this news story the other day, “The worst housing downturn in seven decades,” okay, lets be honest about something here. They are referencing the “Great Depression” of the 1930’s when the American population was only a 150 million people. So just by the weight and the sheer volume of the numbers and of the dollar amounts involved, we are talking about a home foreclosure crisis which, by itself, becomes an event unprecedented in the annals of American history and in all world history, as well.

After over a decade of perpetual war, suicides among active duty military personnel exceed three each week. 164 last year, 159 the year before and that’s still only counting those on active duty. We can build better armored tanks or the stealthier aircraft but people break, they’re fragile. You can’t put young people under murderous stress after training them to do the opposite of what they have been taught all of their lives without breaking some of them. The war has become unpopular now and so is no longer newsworthy, but they still must grind on, doing the ugly work of empire.

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Battered Children

7:02 pm in Uncategorized by Daveparts

Orphans, Thomas Kennington, 1885 (public domain - Wikipedia)

Battered Children
By David Glenn Cox

Loneliness is a crowded solitude,
darkness a cold blanket.
Tomorrows are but yesterdays revisited.
Life in neutral pastel suns fear losing the moon.
The coins in my pocket warn me of their own loneliness,
jingling in the pockets of fear.
Don’t need no gasoline pumps or mega bars,
nothing to hold on to much and unable to reach the stars.

I found that I was lost, abandoned along the roadside of America.
I’m a rusting fence with a broken gate with posts a leaning on horizon’s pickets. Children of the corporate whores who long for a mother’s touch and receive only the back of her hand. We are the battered children of this lost, lost land.

Vote for Willard, vote for Newt don’t really matter much, just another bastard in a three piece suit. Vote for Obama, vote for drama, Vote for TV, vote for you and me. Lost like single payer, forgotten and put away, put down like strays. Made to disappear and made to go away. To not look at you is to not see you and to not see you proves that you’re not there.

The metamorphosis is Kafkaesque, as the roaches rise and then reflect. Maybe just a glance, perhaps, just a look in their eye, all animals aren’t equal but all animals do die. The propagandists scream with the promises of melting lies, of days of bright futures answered on a day the concrete flies. Coloring books of revolution after dinner mints of the estranged, I saw the best minds of my generation sleeping in a ditch.

I’m tired of being calm I’m tried of being fair; I’m tried of remaining optimistic and receiving only blank stares. I’m tired of being told that it’s all my fault, I’m tired of being told that we shouldn’t have bought. I count forty million put out into the cold, living in the state of precariousness. Living in the state of invisibility, living there anonymously and living there with you and me.

Fifty hollow stars against a field of red and white, blood or surrender, blood and sand, blood and last stand, living in the dignity of mud, sleeping with the abbreviated rights of man. The monster factory churns as the anger simmers and burns, Michelle asks if “Your In?” I answer sure, urine. Piss on my head and tell me its raining, tell about your straining. Tell me about the jobs bill which helps only you; tell me how high the lamp post when our feet won’t touch the ground.

Italian cars made in Mexico hamburger made with shit, forecasts made with dollars signs each telling you, you don’t fit. You have no rights, you have no home, you have no money, so you’ll sleep alone. Rapt in a flag whose colors begin to run washed away by the children’s tears and muddied by the boots of the setting sun. To live, to die, lost in a life of honest crime dodging the predators and the banking slime.

Time passes slowly and I’m a day older tell me about the rabbits George; tell me about the new world order. Tell me about the jobs of the future and of our lives to come and I’ll tell you the truth of things, if you think it might be fun. I’ll tell you about the broke down cars, broke down minds and about broken hearts, about the tears of teachers and about the nights so dark. I’ll tell you a tale of unloved children, of children battered and bruised, of children pilfered and used. Read the rest of this entry →

The Job

6:55 pm in Uncategorized by Daveparts

The Job
By David Glenn Cox

I’ll try not to get my hopes up but I have applied for a job and feel I have reasonable prospects to actually land this one. It gives me an all over trembly feeling, like a passenger on a ship reaching its port after a long, long journey. The anticipation that this employment odyssey might actually end for me, takes my mind to places where it hasn’t been for a very long time. To new strange ideas, peculiar feelings of mutated emotions which wash over me like a new love.

I can never go back, I understand that much. I can never go back to who I once was, primarily because I have been gone from those days of clueless prosperity for so long now, that I no longer recognize that person. The hard road is a fine university, it teaches an appreciation for the small and the mundane, the wonderful feeling of a new pair of socks or of a good meal on an empty stomach, a hot shower or waking up between warm clean sheets.

I lie awake and dream of things such as my own bed, or my own home or of new clothes to replace my rags and well, it is all wonderful. But even in these day dreams, night dreams and pipe dreams I feel the fetters still. Call it maturity or call it scar tissue for I waste nothing. I scarf up paper napkins and carry food in my coat pockets because you just never know.

There is something more at play here in my renaissance, when this odyssey began for me several years ago it began in depression and self-pity. I had lost everything I owned and everything which I had worked for. It was as if I were being stripped naked and left as carrion for the buzzards. I was angry at the world and I was angry with the woman who at lowest ebb of my adult life had kicked me to the curb. Then something happened which is hard to describe.

I began to see others in even worse circumstances than my own, not with Mother Theresa eyes but with an appreciation that I was witnessing something important and historic and I had been granted a ground level opportunity to see it and to taste it and yes, to write about it. Their stories are as poignant and tragic as they are unnecessary; I met a man who like me had been thrown out of his home after losing his job and was unable to find another.

All that he had left of his former life was this nice car and an unemployment check. This car was the last vestige of his past life. It would be easy for us to say that maybe he should have sold the car to get out from under the payment. Only that would also be admitting defeat and accepting his decent into this new hard life. He got himself a hotel room; you know the type, in a run down hotel in a seedy part of town. One night, he had gone to the library looking for jobs online and arrived back at the hotel around nine o’clock. He parked his car in the back of the parking lot trying to protect it and then stopped to buy a coke out of the vending machine before entering his room.

As he was about to drop the coins into the machine he was tackled and found there was a red laser beam from a policeman’s automatic pistol being focused on his forehead. He was handcuffed and thrown onto the trunk lid of a police car. “What are you doing here, where did you get the car, where do you work?”

You see, owning a nice car while staying in a seedy hotel is to law enforcement agencies, probable cause. Why sure, he must be a pimp or a drug dealer and it was beyond the range of possibility that he might be a man who had lost his job and was trying to salvage the broken pieces of his existence. He was on his way downtown when the hotel night manager stopped the police saying, “What are you doing, he’s alright!” No, it never occurred to the police to ask the manager, “What do you know about this guy?” before tackling him and pointing loaded pistols at his forehead.

Remember this story the next time you ask someone, what’s new? My own story was similar except without the hand guns. I had helped a friend fix her car, an old beat up Toyota with a suction cup holding the passenger window up. We were going to pay her cell phone bill and as we pulled out into traffic there was this guy who was obviously staring at me. I wondered to myself, “What the hell is his problem” when the blue lights came on from the unmarked car.

We were pulled over for the heinous crime of me not having my seat belt on. The policeman asked my friend for her driver’s license and then came around to my side of the car for mine. Nervous and unable to open the window I opened the door to hand the policeman my driver’s license. He kicked the door shut with his foot as he put one hand on his holster and shouted “Remain in the vehicle!” His partner came around and opened the door and ordered me to “Step out slowly!” It was all perfectly understandable; a man who forgets to put on his seat belt could easily be a serial killer. I mean, after all it’s so obvious isn’t it, we were in an old car.

They took my license and began to ask me questions which were obviously drug related. I came of age in the 1970’s but this was a drug slang which I was unsure of and told the cop so to which he answered, “You sure about that?” Indignant, I answered, “Sir, I’ve never been arrested in my life.” He smirked and said, “We’ll know about that in a minute then, won’t we?”

I can hear you, really I can, I know all about my civil rights but if I had made an issue of it, guess where I was going to next? If we’d been driving a new Mercedes we would have probably never been pulled over in the first place. This is the difference between my old life and my new life as the cops parting words to me were, “You’re lucky you’re not going to jail.”

That’s nothing really, try being a single mother of two small boys and as you’re getting them ready for school and yourself ready for work one day when a man knocks on your front door and announces that he’s from the bank and you’re being foreclosed upon. Never mind your acceptance letters from Obama’s HAMP mortgage program or your bank statement showing your prompt payments. Her plight was no different than mine the law isn’t on your side; it is on the other side.

What are my problems compared to these, what are my pissy little inconveniences compared to a mother losing a child to an insurance company’s intransigence or losing a child to a nation’s military madness? These are my new friends in this new America and they aren’t oddities or curiosities they are everywhere and they are innocents, civilians unaware for the most part that a war has been declared upon them, They are Johnnie Bradfield, Jean Val Jean and Tom Joad, they are Americans all, who deserve better than they are getting.

This is the new gravity of my life as I try to reclamate myself with dreams of gainful employment and all that means in the way of creature comforts. I am not alone here, I have been given a great gift and its weight will never be lifted from me. I do not even know if I will get this job or not, but my heart is full of gratitude and love for all of those whom I have met along this hard road. I shall never forget them or forget that I am one of them. They have given me this great gift, I know now who I am, really and I know now who we are as a people, really and I’m not afraid.