Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Posted by MizB at 6:13 AM
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I guess we’ll have to [hope and] wait for Hillary Clinton. Maybe she can do something about “race relations,” since paying any attention to women’s issues would clearly be favoritism. Shame and pride, pride and shame, and the increased loss of personal and national innocence as the eternal foibles of reality bubble up. And I don’t even have room left to talk about Bill Cosby.
Posted by MizB at 9:55 AM
Sunday, November 09, 2014
Indeed, if you click on all the links in this blog post you will learn a lot more about how progressive Democrats and Independents (and maybe even secretly-rational Republicans) can work from this important point forward to avoid the United States of America turning into a full-scale oligarchy disaster.
Posted by MizB at 1:25 PM
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
If I thought a well conceived and efficiently organized Liberal Revolution were possible, I’d advocate for one. Alas, I don’t think it is, so I don’t. Instead, under the heading “Now What?” I advocate the following: (1) pay closer attention to the news, get your news from more than one source, and start connecting the dots (2) write to everyone in your political world: Mayor, City Council President, State Senator & Assembly-person, U.S. Congress-person & Senators, and the President. Tell them what issues you care about, both the ones that affect you directly and the rest that you recognize affect us all as a nation and as citizens of the world, and (3) remember that democracy is a living, breathing thing made up of all of us thinking critically and participating in the political process. Use the next two years to get ready and in 2016 be fully aware of what’s what and what’s right and vote accordingly. It’s the only real shot we’ve got.
Posted by MizB at 9:28 PM
Monday, November 03, 2014
If you don’t want to render President Obama completely impotent for the next two years, the Democrats, for all their weaknesses, must NOT lose control of the Senate. There are opportunities nationwide to get rid of some entrenched Republican Congressional representatives or avoid new ones. There are critical Governorships and State Senatorial races. There are important Propositions on the ballots of many states. There is an opportunity tomorrow to show by our numbers that we’re here and we do care about the governments we have. We may not be able to make great strides this time around, but we can rattle the status quo – perhaps just enough to enlarge Democratic balls and impact for 2016. Don’t give up yet. Please vote tomorrow and give what’s left of American democracy a fighting chance.
Posted by MizB at 4:22 PM
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Posted by MizB at 8:31 AM
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Posted by MizB at 2:41 AM
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Collectively (as it were), the amount of student debt in America is $1.2 trillion, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. An appalling figure. And as DC explains, “If you owe the bank thousands of dollars, then the bank owns you. But if you owe the bank millions, then you own the bank.”
Which is to say, if you try to lessen the burden of your student loan as an individual, one person vs. a massive, uncaring, money-grubbing institution – a balance of power that suits the banks just fine – you’re not likely to get anywhere better than where you are right now: screwed. But if you get together with lots of other folks in the same situation, then you radically change the status quo and ergo the balance of power.
Not since the wholesome, effective, beginning of the American Labor Movement, which fought to get working people the 5-day week, the 8-hour day, improvements in workplace conditions, and the right to bargain collectively (through unions) for better wages and benefits, has such a bold, creative, non-violent yet we-ain’t-playin’ initiative been undertaken in the age-old war between The Little Guy and The System. Yes, this is a big step in the much-needed contemporary Class War I’ve written about previously – but if I had said so at the start, you probably wouldn’t still be reading this.
After its inception, DC broadened its fight against debt to include medical, housing, and credit card debt – debt that threatens millions of Americans in numerous, onerous ways, from losing their homes to having their wages garnished to not having enough money left for basic/essential living expenses (like food and utilities) once they’ve made their monthly debt payments. And as the photo above illustrates (getting back to the horrors of education debt), former students face special punishments even if they’ve been faithfully paying off their debt for years, because, thanks to usury-level interest rates, their debt never ends!
DC describes its mission this way: “What can a Debt Collective Do? – The goal of the Debt Collective is to create a platform by debtors and for debtors for organization, advocacy, and resistance. Organizing collectively offers many possibilities for building power against creditors: As we build membership, we can organize debtors into groups based on region, type of debt, or institution. These groups can bargain with creditors or even develop the power to threaten a debt strike. A debt collective can help create a positive vision for a sustainable economy in which credit would be used to benefit everyone and not to line the pockets of a few.”
So, if you’re currently carrying more debt than you can handle, whether it be an underwater mortgage, a strangle-hold of credit cards, or a student loan that’s preventing you from creating your future, I strongly encourage you to click on this Debt Collective link and join Debt Collective. I did and I’m glad I did. I feel better and I’m looking forward to hearing from them about what the next steps will be.
To those who have little or no debt and sniff judgmentally at those who do, thinking (or outright saying), “Well, you knowingly incurred these debts, why are you crabbing about having to pay them back?,” let me say the following.
I started to write a detailed explanation about why so much of contemporary indebtedness can’t be dismissed as irresponsible and I had written a lot of it; it was running way too long. I also realized the main thought running through my head was “Fuck you, you don’t get it, go read another blog.” So I’m not going to “justify” anything I’ve written above to those who don’t understand this situation. Fuck you, you don’t get it, go read another blog.
Posted by MizB at 4:13 PM
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
So it’s unfair and downright ignorant to think he was insane or selfish because he killed himself. He was neither of those things. He also wasn’t “taking the easy way out” of something we don’t know about. His death is a tragedy – not just because he was who he was: a greatly multi-talented man of only 63 – but because he died of a disease that we as a society don’t understand, don’t talk about, and for which there are a variety of often inadequate treatments and no cure.
I became a compulsive TV shopper and was one day short of eviction from my apartment because I was shopping away the rent money. Addictive behavior is a common component of Depression. My privacy and independence were imposed upon by a NYC agency called APS – Adult Protective Services. That was how I avoided eviction.
Do you appreciate that people with Depression who can function at all are brave warriors? Did you know that Depression is at epidemic levels in America? Do you realize that 22 returned US service people commit suicide each day – 22 a day! That’s largely because of PTSD, which is a complex brain disease that includes Depression and a whole lot more.
Posted by MizB at 12:25 AM
Friday, August 01, 2014
All of which is why a cultural phenomenon like Sharknado could grab the country’s attention. It also explains film’s and television’s solid diet of zombies, vampires, werewolves, suddenly powerless super-powered saviors, and an inordinate number of movies by Tyler Perry. When the horrors of reality surpass the terrors of imagination, we’re left with the poorly crafted ridiculous.
And I don’t know what to say about any of this.
Posted by MizB at 8:18 AM
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
I’m not a vegetarian and seriously doubt I ever will be. And I don’t believe in animal rights in the sense that other animals have the same rights as human animals. Even though there are savages among us, I still believe people are special and that we have rights that animals (and corporations…) don’t have.
But I also believe that if people are to justifiably consider themselves superior to “lower forms” of life, then we have the highest form of responsibility to protect and respect all animal life, most especially those animals who work for us, are our companions, or who feed us. If we don’t do that, then Babar really is the one who belongs in the three-piece suit and we, as Raju was for 50 years, should be bound with chains, forced to perform tricks for mindless tourists and subsist on garbage. Have we really progressed so little? If so, maybe Raju’s tears were not for his freedom, but for our stunted souls.
Posted by MizB at 8:46 PM
Saturday, July 05, 2014
My mother, who had several serious ailments and skimped on her meds because they were so expensive, didn’t live to see something resembling universal coverage be denigrated and sabotaged by politicians who feared it more than disease.
To be honest, part of what saddened me yesterday was that I didn’t have a cookout to attend or anyone with whom I could go watch the fireworks (I love fireworks), even though I dislike and disapprove of the way we’ve turned every national holiday of social and historical importance into an occasion to party and shop.
But mostly, I was and still am preoccupied with how America has stepped back. I’m angry with the Supreme Court and Congress; I’m concerned that it took our smart, idealistic President six years to realize those shitheads in Washington are never going to work with him; and I’m very worried that this year’s elections will bring even more irresponsible nutjobs into national power and give “lame duck” terrible new meaning for the next two years. Papa, I wish you were here.
Posted by MizB at 7:58 AM
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Posted by MizB at 5:01 AM
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Posted by MizB at 9:22 PM